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Design and technology: embracing change and challenge

Published: Jun 15, 2016 3 min read

Gemma Taylor

Technology CPD Lead

National STEM Learning Centre

There are big changes to the GCSEs on offer to students choosing food, design and technology and engineering as an option. Below is a guide to how you can get help to prepare.

The GCSE in food technology is the first change rolling out in September 2016.

The newly titled food preparation and nutrition GCSE has some exciting practical content to get to grips with and an increased focus on food science.

If you are looking for support with teaching the food science content, see our bursary supported course running in the autumn term.

GCSEs in resistant materials, product design, textiles, graphics and systems and control will have their last exams in June 2018, with a single design and technology GCSE released for first teaching in September 2017.

This new qualification brings all of the material areas together, assessing students on their knowledge of textiles, electronics and resistant materials and encourages students to create their own design brief.

Science and mathematics will also feature more in the new specification with 10% of the overall qualification now awarded on mathematics alone.

If the thought of delivering mathematics content is a scary prospect, our experts have developed a new bursary supported CPD activity to help design and technology teachers get up to speed.

The reality of teaching classes where students are working on individual briefs, in multiple material areas may be quite daunting.

To help with planning for this new curriculum, we have developed a new bursary supported course that will give participants the chance to really get their teeth into what the new qualification is all about.

What about technicians? As well as preparing support for teachers, we have also developed a new bursary funded CPD activity to help technicians prepare for the new GCSE.

The engineering GCSE has also been revised, ready for first teaching in September 2017. AQA are the only awarding body who have developed a specification this GCSE, take a look at the draft content here.

Similar to the design and technology GCSE, the new engineering content has more mathematics and science than ever before. For ideas on how to deliver the mathematics and science content, why not take a look at our bursary supported course running in January.

Finally, if you are a head of department and would like some intensive support from our specialists, we have a bursary supported leadership course that as well as providing support for the curriculum changes, will develop your skills in assessment, team management and leading change.